November 17, 2018

ON THIS DAY 1946, SOE agent Odette Sansom became the first woman to lead an investiture at Buckingham Palace, and the first to receive a George Cross from the king himself.  She would become the most highly decorated woman, and spy, of World War II.   Here's why:...

October 31, 2018

Le mot juste.

The just word.  The perfect word.  The right word at the right time.  The phrase was the guiding principle for one of history's greatest novelists, Gustave Flaubert.  While Flaubert is recognized for his commitment to this concept (not to mention his influ...

October 29, 2018

One of the great joys of being an author is seeing the creativity of readers who send comments.  Today I received this word of encouragement from someone who just finished INTO THE LION'S MOUTH.  

His comment started: "Loftis, you magnificent bastard, I read y...

October 27, 2018

ON THIS DATE 1943, the most romantic scene of WWII occurred at Fresnes Prison, in Paris.  As Captain Peter Churchill strolled the prisoner exercise yard that day, he heard the sound of women's voices.  "Pierre, Pierre," he heard one woman yelling, "your Odette is here!...

July 27, 2018

On July 26, 1944, after four suffocating days in an unventilated attic with forty Ukrainian women, Odette and the others were loaded onto a train bound for the one place feared by every woman in Europe.

     Ravensbrück.   

     Created by Heinrich Hi...

June 6, 2018

ON THIS DAY 1950, the King and Queen of England attended a most unusual event—the world premier of a British film opening at The Plaza Theatre in Piccadilly Circus.  As one would expect, security was tight as thousands tried to catch a glimpse of royalty and stars....

June 5, 2018

TODAY 1944, in preparation for D-Day, the BBC broadcast into France 306 messages.  Buried within them were coded messages for the SOE—Special Operations Executive—and French Resistance.  


One message, "Vilma vous dit oui" ("Vilma tells you yes"...

June 1, 2018

TODAY 1943, a civilian flight (KLM Royal Dutch Airlines/BOAC Flight 777) from Lisbon to Bristol, England was shot down over the Bay of Biscay by a German Luftwaffe Junkers Ju 88, killing all seventeen aboard.  One of the passengers was the beloved English actor, Leslie...

May 31, 2018

TODAY, May 31, 1945, the Allies captured history's greatest spy-catcher, German secret police officer Sergeant Hugo Bleicher, in Amsterdam.  The French, British, Canadians—even the Americans—all had files on him.  The British had two sets: one under "Mon...

May 26, 2018

ON THIS DAY, 26 May 1944, British Intelligence pulled off one of World War II's most amazing stunts. Using two doubles—double agent Dusko Popov and body double Lieutenant M. E. Clifton James—the British reinforced what Popov had been telling his German supervisor in Li...

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© 2012 by LARRY LOFTIS